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Welsh language channel bullied - claim

 
Created on 06/02/2011 @ 08:27
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Welsh language channel S4C has been "bullied" into showing English language teleshopping at night to boost income it is claimed by Mid Wales AM Alun Davies.

Davies, Mid & West Wales AM,  said it was a result of UK government attacks in a funding crisis.Two hours of teleshopping - in English - will start on Friday, but the channel will not say how much it will earn.

The UK government responded that it was a matter for S4C. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said last month that the channel was failing to make enough impact.

The BBC will take over part-funding of S4C from 2013, with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reducing its grant by 94% over the next five years.

The channel said it had a responsibility to attract income from different sources in order to protect its core service.

The introduction of the teleshopping service will provide funding for the channel, which is having its budgets cut by 25% by 2015, as part of the UK government's Spending Review.

But the broadcaster would not say how much it was making from the deal, describing it as commercially sensitive information.

Mr Davies said: "At the end of the day, S4C is facing up to a funding crisis. The UK government has sought to attack the broadcaster and this is a consequence of that.

"But it's a shame a public service broadcaster has to take these measures to survive because of the bullying from the Department of Culture Media and Sport."

He added: "Some people are concerned that the (teleshopping) programme will be in English rather than Welsh, but I am not too concerned about that because S4C has always been a bilingual broadcaster."

S4C's Elin Morris, director of corporate and commercial policy, said the channel had a "responsibility to attract income from different sources in order to protect the core service to our viewers".

"The teleshopping service will appear after S4C's own service has closed for the night," Ms Morris added.

The Welsh Language Society (Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg) described S4C's decision as "very concerning".

"We are on the verge of losing something unique - the world's only TV channel in the Welsh language. That's why we're campaigning against the joint BBC-government plan to make huge cuts to S4C. "

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Davies, Mid & West Wales AM,  said it was a result of UK government attacks in a funding crisis.Two hours of teleshopping - in English - will start on Friday, but the channel will not say how much it will earn.

The UK government responded that it was a matter for S4C. Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said last month that the channel was failing to make enough impact.

The BBC will take over part-funding of S4C from 2013, with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) reducing its grant by 94% over the next five years.

The channel said it had a responsibility to attract income from different sources in order to protect its core service.

The introduction of the teleshopping service will provide funding for the channel, which is having its budgets cut by 25% by 2015, as part of the UK government's Spending Review.

But the broadcaster would not say how much it was making from the deal, describing it as commercially sensitive information.

Mr Davies said: "At the end of the day, S4C is facing up to a funding crisis. The UK government has sought to attack the broadcaster and this is a consequence of that.

"But it's a shame a public service broadcaster has to take these measures to survive because of the bullying from the Department of Culture Media and Sport."

He added: "Some people are concerned that the (teleshopping) programme will be in English rather than Welsh, but I am not too concerned about that because S4C has always been a bilingual broadcaster."

S4C's Elin Morris, director of corporate and commercial policy, said the channel had a "responsibility to attract income from different sources in order to protect the core service to our viewers".

"The teleshopping service will appear after S4C's own service has closed for the night," Ms Morris added.

The Welsh Language Society (Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg) described S4C's decision as "very concerning".

"We are on the verge of losing something unique - the world's only TV channel in the Welsh language. That's why we're campaigning against the joint BBC-government plan to make huge cuts to S4C. "

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